Here is our put-in, at the little fishing village of Roberts Arm. The local folk stopped and stared at us as we made our preparations. Kayaking is not familiar there. We wondered how we'd ever fit everything into the boats. It took awhile to find the right configuration! Even so, we carried water jugs in the cockpit with us, as there was no room left in the hatches.
Will this bag of gear fit in the hatch? Somehow it did. The water in Newfoundland is never warmer than about 40 degrees F. We packed a lot of warm clothing - and used little of it. We had warm weather almost every day. The drysuit never got used.
This was our day-one route from Roberts Arm (extreme left) around Pretty Island, crossing the head of Badger Bay and then southwest to Julie's Cove, a total of 11.14 miles.
We are off! We began at 11:30 am, heading for Pretty Island as our lunch stop.
Osprey nested at every rocky outcrop. Soon after we stopped at Pretty Island, the wind suddenly picked up to 15-20 knots with gusts higher. We paddled directly into it to reach Julie's Cove where we would set up camp for the night. It was a rough beginning but we finally got there. A minke whale surfaced in front of Mark several times as we paddled.
This was our campsite. The tent blew over in the first location I picked, so I set up again here, off the beach. The insects were fierce, even in the strong wind. Blackflies loved the back of my neck, finding their way past the bug net I wore over my head.
Mark set up his kitchen using his boat as a windbreak. He built a pit for the stove and proceeded to cook the first of many fine dinners. I have never eaten so well on a camping trip. We had a breakfast of eggs and cheese on bagels next morning.
There was a sailboat moored in the cove with us for a few hours. The captain told Mark he was astonished that we made it there in the high winds. He offered us smoked trout and fresh crabmeat, and asked where we were going. Mark told him we were headed for the Bay of Exploits. "Oh, you'll never make it there! That's 26 miles if you go across open ocean, and you sure don't want to do that! And it's 200 miles if you follow the coastline. I GUARANTEE that you won't make it."
Those words rang in our heads as we continued our trip. We were determined to make it, across open ocean.